On Monday, iconic New York cruelty free and vegan brand Milk Makeup launched in the UK, and quiet on arrival it was not. With a huge pop up space in Covent Garden, where they had recreated the actual Milk Studios from NYC on display as well as every product in the range, it was a beauty lovers paradise. Some of you reading this may be totally new to Milk, and i’m here to guide you through. I am not new to Milk, much like my beloved IGK, I picked Milk up in Sephora in California back in 2016, when it launched. It launched in February of 2016 and lucky for me I was off to Los Angeles come May 2016 with a wish list from my American YouTube (metaphorical) cousins as long as my arm. I picked up the Cooling Stick (not pictured because I now can’t find it anywhere and believe it has been stolen by my husband as per usual…!!!), an eye pigment and a lip pigment pot – the latter having been discontinued before it’s arrival here. The Cooling Stick was an instant hit! I loved it. On subsequent trips to America post that initial trip, I picked up more sticks and I picked up the now infamous star shaped eyeliner pen, which I had to run to Sephora to find on launch.
My story aside, Milk now drops in the UK this week on Cult Beauty and i’d love to share a bit more about it with you!
Talking all things skin and let’s start with their makeup skin range. I have the Blur Liquid Matte Foundation, the Flex Concealer, the Blur + Set Powder and the Blur Stick. Prior to last week I hadn’t tried any of these, and I was really looking forward to giving in particular the foundation a whirl. At the event it was applied on me using fingers, but i’m more of a beauty blender kind of girl so for me i’ve been using it with the beauty blender at home. I really like this foundation. It’s very lightweight, not cakey and applies lovely with the beauty blender. I think it would apply nicely with fingers if you were mixing it with moisturiser, too. The shade range is great, and the shade ‘Ivory’ matches me perfectly. I find it lasts all day on me really well, and generally i’m super super impressed with this. This is a total hit. The concealer is also a great colour shade range, and suits me well. It’s a doe foot applicator so makes applying easy – but if you are anything like me and absolutely used to Tarte Shape Tape, you will find the doe foot small in comparison. This is a lovely concealer, but for me where I am older than maybe the average Milk user, toward the end of the day it falls into my ‘laughter lines’ more than my Shape Tape does. I think i’d use it to cover blemishes, but for me Shape Tape is still undefeated for under eye. But that’s just me.
A really raved about product is the Blur Stick. It got a lot of hype on launch, being compared to a real life Snapchat filter, and has since got mixed reviews on the Sephora and Milk website. Now for me, I do like this product. But do I think it’s anything super special? Not really. For me it wins plus points for being silicone free, vegan, cruelty free (as is the entire range of course), and a very large amount in the product for what you pay price wise. However I do find this particular product in stick format a little clunky and drags across my skin, possibly enhancing my ‘laughter lines’ rather than hiding them. For teenagers and younger people – perfect. Despite this I do still like this product but I just don’t think it’s anything out of the ordinary – it’s not on par with the amazing foundation, that stands up on it’s own without the Blur Stick underneath it in my opinion! I’m more interested in the Blur Luminous Stick, that offers up hydration and glow as well as mattifying… now that sounds great to me! Then there’s the Blur + Set Powder, which is a lovely loose powder with a gorgeous texture. I’m not a powder kind of girl so I wouldn’t use it all over my face, however in the Summer I am prone to an oily chin and I think this will be perfect.
Skin must haves: Blur Liquid Matte Foundation
Skin nice to have: Flex Concealer, Blur + Set Powder, Blur Stick, possibly the Blur Luminous Stick but am yet to try
Skin skips: none
The Kush collection. Determined to swap out some of the ‘nasties’ in other makeup for hemp derived Cannabis oil, Milk formulated the Kush range in 2018 with the Kush Mascara, infused with CBD oil. As you guys may know if you follow me on instagram both George and I are avid users of Cannabidol – CBD – which is a totally legal component used to combat stress, anxiety and chronic pain. This mascara launched on 4/20 in the USA last year, and I know that because we landed into Los Angeles on the 22nd April – fresh after watching my favourite LA influencer stories of the launch I hot footed it to Sephora almost as quickly as I was off the plane and guess what? It was completely out of stock. Nooo! I was told to try again the week after, so I tried again the week after… and it was out of stock again. Now there’s nothing like an out of stock product to make me want it even more – let alone that it’s formulated with CBD. Anyway, Milk finally answered my prayers by surprising me with it in the mail a couple of weeks ago and let me tell you. I LOVE IT. This mascara is great. I have lash extensions so I use it on my lower lashes, and it only smudges by the very end of the day which no joke every single mascara i’ve ever tried in the history of mascaras does on me anyway. It’s a solid thumbs up from me.
Milk expanded the Kush range in late 2018 with a brow gel, and two lip products. First up, the whole range smells amazing. It smells like California to me. Honestly literally smells like Los Angeles. (The non stinky parts.. I guess… it’s a compliment trust me) and for me the immediate stand out product was the Kush Lip Balm. So not only is it infused with CBD so it smells relaxing and anxiety relieving as it goes on, but it’s a really great lip balm. Again, solid thumbs up. The other lip product is a Lip Glaze and again it smells amazing. I don’t really use a lip glaze like that very often, but it is very moisturising, not sticky at all and great at it’s job so if that’s your vibe you’ll like it. It’s got a nice tingle to it as well. The only slightly disappointing product is the Kush Fiber Brow. I say only slightly because it’s not that it’s a bad product – it’s a very good product – but there are just many many others on the market like it. It’s also only got three shades, which is a shame. It needs a couple more in-between the three imo to make it more universal. The shade I have – Dutch, which is the ‘middle’ shade, is slightly too dark for me, and the lightest was too light. However, it’s redeeming points are that instead of beeswax, which is in other – albeit cruelty free but not vegan – equivalent Glossier Boy Brow, it has CBD. Which is really, great. It’s also a lot larger in size than Boy Brow, and it’s only £1 more. So if it comes in your shade and you don’t already own Boy Brow (or Gimme Brow, or NYX Brow Gel or *anything* similar…) then you will like this.
Kush collection must haves: Kush Mascara, Kush Lip Balm
Kush collection nice to have: Kush Lip Glaze
Kush collection skip: Kush Fiber Brow – but *only* if you don’t already have one similar, or aren’t vegan. Otherwise, a great product.
Then there’s the Eyeliner Stamps! These are absolutely iconic. To my knowledge I can only think of another accessible brand in the UK that does these – Lottie London – so correct me if i’m wrong but these are absolutely great! I have the star, the peace sign and the heart – I bought the first two with my own money – and I absolutely love them. They are so easy to use, and look so cute for something different with your makeup! The only thing I will say is, on bare skin – ie no foundation – they do really stain, so get a good oil on the go or prep a good foundation for the next day to cover it. However, they last through festivals, rain and sweat so they’re awesome. I’ve just seen that Milk now do astrology versions too, love that!
There’s also eye pigments, eye liners, face masks and oils, but I am just gonna focus on the sticks because they are what I think truly makes Milk so unique. On the whole – these sticks are absolutely amazing. I adore them. I say on the whole because I haven’t tried the stick oil, or the stick face masks – but what i’ve tried is great. So let me talk you through what i’ve got; I have the Watermelon Brightening Serum stick, the Matcha Toner stick, the Matcha Cleanser stick, the Lip + Cheek stick, mine is shade ‘ Werk’, the Glitter Stick and a Holographic Stick in shade ‘Supernova’. I previously purchased the Matcha Toner in America as well as a mini version of the Holographic Stick, but I picked shade ‘Mars’ rather than Supernova. Spoiler: I loved it so much I couldn’t photograph it alongside the others it was so used up! As I mentioned earlier I also have a Cooling Stick that I purchased somewhere, but I genuinely think George has stolen it..
So let’s start with the skincare style ones, and I absolutely love the Matcha Toner. As soon as I swatched it in Sephora I knew i’d love it, and I love using it. I use it personally underneath my makeup, before I apply my primer. It’s such a nice creamy, hydrating finish that it just preps the skin perfect for primer. I also love the Watermelon Brightening Serum, but I use that either on no makeup days, or in the evening skincare routine. The Matcha Cleanser is nice, it’s not as great as the Toner, but I think if you’re travelling it will be your best pal. You’ll need to wash your face with your usual makeup removing cleanser, but then the Matcha Cleanser is dead easy to use after to get off the last remaining grime. For me it’s not really essential as I like to double cleanse with a flannel, but if I was travelling and maybe doing the Trek America like I did before, I would definitely use this. Then we have the Lip + Cheek products. I was dubious about this at first as I thought, how much will I really use that? And then I tried it and loved it immediately. My shade Werk is the most universally flattering shade, and that’s the shade i’d recommend tbh. Now there’s a trick to this. You don’t wanna use these sticks by swiping straight onto your face if you are wearing foundation. If you’re not wearing foundation, go ahead. But if you are, it’ll only drag the foundation and not apply properly. Instead, tap it with your fingers and pat into place. It’s so pigmented and easy to blend, that it trumps the Glossier Pigment Paints right out of the water. Much easier to use, a natural dewy beautiful finish and beautiful on the lips too – not drying. The highlighters are exactly the same, just the Glitter Stick is as it says and does have some chunkier, grittier glitter in – but it’s still easy to blend. I have every faith the bronzer is the same – when I swatched it at the pop up I loved it too.
Complexion sticks must haves: Matcha Toner, Watermelon Brightening Serum, Lip + Cheek sticks, Holographic stick, Bronzers (legit they are all great)
Complexion nice to have: Matcha Toner, Cooling Stick (it’s nice for planes and Summer, more of a niche need), Glitter Stick (cos not everyone is a fan of glitter)
Complexion skip: none
So that’s a loose intro to Milk Makeup! I’m dying to try the Oil Stick, and i’m dead curious about the Face Mask sticks, so maybe i’ll have a report back on those later in the year. On the whole, Milk Makeup is an amazing cruelty free, vegan range that’s in great shades and very user friendly.
What do you think of Milk Makeup? Will you be trying anything out? Let me know what you thought in the comments of my review!